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Ex-head of transition society in Chilliwack denies misappropriation

Counterclaim alleges ‘conspiracy’ among Wilma’s employees, board to oust Kathleen and Erin Mosa
Kathleen Mosa, (centre) former executive director of Wilma’s Transition Society, and her daughter Erin Mosa are being sued by the society for misappropriation of funds. The mother-daughter pair filed a response and counterclaim on May 22. Mosa is flanked by Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen and Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove at an affordable housing announcement in Chilliwack on Thursday, July 28, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Two Chilliwack women being sued for misappropriation of funds have responded to the civil lawsuit filed against them by their former employer, Xolhemet Society/Wilma’s Transition House.

Kathleen and Erin Mosa, mother and daughter, filed their response and counterclaim on May 22 in B.C. Supreme Court, denying all allegations against them, calling them “false, and without merit.”

The Mosas were fired in April due to alleged “unauthorized transactions,” totalling $1.4 million, according to details in the original notice of claim filed by the society on May 2.

Kathleen and Erin were employed by “Xolhemet Society/Wilma’s Transition House,” the legal name of the non-profit referred to in plaintiff documents as “Wilma’s Transition Society.”

The counterclaim states the two Mosas were never given a chance to respond to the allegations of misappropriation of funds.

Contrary to the assertion in the society’s notice of claim that the wrongful transactions “did not relate to any legitimate purpose pertaining to the society’s business or affairs, did not further the society’s mandate, were not justified business expenditures, and were not in the best interests of the society,” the counterclaim states all of the expenditures in question were for board use, including those for fine dining, casino and hotels.

It also alleges there was a “conspiracy” afoot among employees and board members “to oust Kathleen and Erin Mosa.”

Kathleen Mosa was the society’s executive director, and Erin Mosa was a “homelessness prevention and support worker,” a supervisor, and more.

Kathleen was suspended by the board in September 2023 due to an alleged breach of confidentiality, and then terminated in April 2024 after an audit by MNP that allegedly uncovered financial improprieties.

In her counterclaim, Kathleen stated that the breach of confidentiality was actually perpetrated by a board member.

After being fired, Kathleen and Erin were cut off from accessing work emails, and asked to return electronics, keys, fobs, and work credit cards.

“The termination was a wilful and arbitrary breach of the contract and constituted a wrongful dismissal of Kathleen by the society, which is the subject of a counterclaim herein,” the response document continued.

No one met with Kathleen in person but a letter came through counsel, falsely stating a “termination meeting” had taken place on April 9, 2024.

In fact the termination itself “shocked and devastated” Kathleen, and prior to the letter, Kathleen had no disciplinary history with the society.

Her counterclaim states that a group of employees, Ellen Clifford, Jayme Clifford, Kirstin Hall and Christine Devers (together referred to as the Clifford group) allegedly “engaged in a co-ordinated and calculated effort to see Kathleen and Erin removed from the Society and to take control of the organization for themselves.”

Her response further states that as ED, Kathleen had to reprimand members of the Clifford group or discipline them for concerns such as: time theft, falsifying sign-out sheets, and forging her signature on cheques.

“As a result of the above items, and for other reasons, the Clifford group developed jealousy and resentment toward Kathleen, and by extension, to Erin. This manifested in the Clifford group speaking negatively about Kathleen and the society in public and in private,” the document continued.

The response denies all allegations about the transactions, which she said had been recorded and reconciled in the society books by other employees, approved by the board, and audited by MNP during the year audit without issues or objections.

“Kathleen denies that she has fraudulently, wrongfully, or secretly spent, misappropriated, or otherwise used any other society’s funds for personal use or for purposes unrelated to the society’s business or affairs.”

The former ED said she did not “personally benefit” from any of the alleged unauthorized transactions, nor did Erin or anyone else in her family.

“The society’s claim as a whole is the result of a malicious attempt by the Clifford group and the board members in support of the Clifford group to humiliate, embarrass and destroy Kathleen’s career and her reputation.”

Kathleen said the impact of the lawsuit and resulting media attention added to and aggravated the former ED’s existing mental distress caused by the termination in April.

Kathleen was 52 years old and had been employed by the Wilma’s for 16 years when she was let go in a “callous and insensitive manner” with officials “treating her like a criminal” after many years of dedicated service.

The counterclaim states Kathleen Mosa will be seeking relief in the form of the following damages:

a. damages for wrongful dismissal and breach of contract;

b. damages for breach of the duty of good faith and honest performance;

c. general damages;

d. aggravated damages;

e. punitive damages;

f. special damages;

g. special costs or in the alternative, costs;

Xolhemet Society/Wilma’s Transition House provides a transition house, second stage housing and other supports to women and children fleeing interpersonal violence.

READ MORE: Mother, daughter sued by Chilliwack society for misappropriating $1.4M

Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering city hall, Indigenous, business, and climate change stories.
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